Thirty-two children -- 26 girls and six boys -- from Jharkhand, trafficked to Delhi, were brought to Ranchi on Thursday by a 15-member rescue team, state child and women welfare department’s director Rabindra Prasad Singh said.
“A majority of them (rescued children) worked as domestic helps in Delhi and were lured to the metro by trafficking agents,” Singh said.
The team included policewomen, members of civil society organisations and social welfare department officials.
Thousands of children, especially tribal girls, are trafficked from Jharkhand to different parts of the country every year to make them work as domestic helps and bonded labourers, claim activists. These children, activists say, are often subjected to physical and sexual torture by employers and agents causing serious ailments and even death.
In the age group of 12 to 18, the 32 rescued children belong to 12 districts of Jharkhand -- Sahebgunj, Gumla, Ranchi, Godda, Pakur, West Singbhum, Simdega, Khunti, Giridih, Latehar, Bokaro and Garwah.
The team also brought four adult women who were stuck at shelter homes in Delhi for years, an official said.
The rescued girls have been sent to Premasraya, a government-funded shelter home, and the boys to a state-run orphanage in Ranchi, officials said.
“We will ensure proper rehabilitation of the rescued children and get them admitted to schools very soon,” Singh said.
After getting information about the children from the Integrated Resource Centre of Jharkhand in New Delhi, the rescue team was formed and sent to the national capital on December 7, officials said.
The children were rescued from different households and factories in the last three months and kept at around 10 shelter homes in the National Capital Region (NCR).
“The children wanted to return to Jharkhand. We will make sure that they reunite with their families,” Singh said.
According to figures with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 37 children were trafficked from Jharkhand to different parts of the country in 2013. Across India 3,902 children were trafficked in 2013, the NCRB data says.
“At least 4000 children were trafficked from Jharkhand in 2013. The NCRB data is not accurate,” said activist Baijnath Kumar of Diya Seva Sansthan.